Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A reason, a season or a lifetime

You know the old clichĂ©. You probably heard it a hundred times before… but it’s more of an email adage I think. But, it got me thinking about my friendships.

I’ve had a range of diverse friends. Each dynamic in their own ways, displaying colourful assortments of cultures, religions and beliefs. I admire each of them just as they are. Each adds to my life in their own unique ways and each brings to me a kind of harmony I can find with no other. They are truly individualistic in its complete and pure sense. I can’t stress this enough.

But, what is it about friends hey? About life? What are they meant to teach us? And, why do they go so soon? I’ve had some brilliant, telepathic and even spiritual friendships… the kind where you can actually physically feel your soul being connected. The kind that warms every vessel within. The kind you could never replace.

Sad, but true. Friendships come and go. For the moment when they are there, accept, appreciate, adorn and treasure. Cache it, dig deep to find the lessons they’re meant to teach, the opportunities they bring and the euphoria experienced can never be substituted. That’s it about friends, some come and go forever. Some come and stay for a while. And, some come and never ever go.

Today, I thought about those souls (friends) that have touched my heart. Some ebbing in the distance. Some gone to bring blessings to others. And some still shining as bright as ever. I’d like to thank those, who have played instrumental roles in certain chapters of my life. Who made those moments memorable and lasting and who without them the memory would never have existed. Thank you. Shukran. And, to those who still brings smiles to my heart… I thank you. And, here’s wishing to many more beautiful chapters transpiring into a novel experienced in every facet of life; its pain and joy, tears and laughter and the process of building memories that will light up the sky on a dreary dark winter’s night.

As hard as it is to believe and accept that someone’s time in your life is over, I suppose it’s easier to believe that they’ve moved on to bring happiness and memories to other souls in the Universe. That’s a nice thought. ‘Cause you see in life, you can’t have one without the other. Sadness comes with happiness. I’m truly blessed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just chilling…

Wow! This weekend was enjoyable. So relaxing… something I don’t seem to know anymore. Being away from the drudge or every day life, the same thing over and over, the mediocrity of it all… really made me see things in a greater light.

I need to spend my time effectively… spend it with the family, getting to know them properly, appreciating them even more than I do already… and just really taking more time for myself and what matters most to me. I certainly see things from a different perspective now. And, getting away has definitely help me see what needs to change and how to go about making it happen. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

As for the weekend… after a two-hour drive, we arrived late Friday evening… the walk up to the mountain chalet where my parents were waiting was literally breathless. My brother Ashraf, friend Sharmiela and son Muain along with Raafiek and myself were huffing and puffing when we reached the top. Needless to say, it was all worth it when we stepped into the lounge and was enveloped by the heat… divine! Must say, under floor heating is definitely a plus. After we recouped and caught our breath, we made some yummy hotdogs to nibble on and then we just ‘vegged’ in front of the tele till late.

The place was just beautiful with the most striking interior. After a good night’s rest, we made some breakfast and later Raafiek, myself and Muain went for a little hike.

Upon our return, we had supper, then headed to a lazy three hours in the hot water springs. Utterly divine!

On Sunday, Raafiek and I woke up early to go and chill in the pool. We did till almost lunch time. My cousins, Nadia and Shahieda along with their families decided to join us for their day, so we brought them up to the chalet. They too were huffing and puffing on arrival. hehe. But, boy, was it fun! Good conversation, filter coffee and fresh cream, koeksisters, braai and the game 30 Seconds, what more did I need! I enjoyed their visit and the game with them and my Mom was completely hilarious! We were all in stitches!

Yip.. and as they say, all good things must come to an end… so we packed up and left about 20:00 the evening. My parents stayed on and was to be joined was two of my Mom’s sisters the next day. They deserve it and I know they’ll enjoy. Shukran Mom & Dad for giving us such an lovely time. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I’m going on a Winter holiday…

Oh man! I really can’t wait to leave work today… still so much to do though. But, I really need this break! I’m gonna relax, regroup and take in the fresh air. Lazing by the hot pools and sizzling in the Jacuzzi… certainly going to be fun!

Otherwise, I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. Just thinking about my life, my experiences and how it’s shaped me, how I’ve evolved over the years and where my life is headed. I’ve got so many dreams and visions within me… I can’t wait to see it play out. But, in life, I’ve learned to accept that everything happens when the time is right. And, I need to conform to that acceptance. But, Insha-Allah, with the help and guidance of Allah – the plan will materialise. Fee Amanilah – All my trust and faith in Allah!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My late grandmother…

Thoughts of my late grandmother have been swarming my mind daily. I miss her so much! For a long time I’ve refused to accept that she’s gone. No one knows this, just me. I’ve kind of imagined that she’s still here, only I haven’t visited in a while. But, now, it seems its time to deal with the loss.

My grandmother (Ma) stayed with us for over 10 years and in that time I had the honour of being graced with her presence every day. She was there through all of my growing times and we formed a wonderful and very open relationship. I relayed to her on many occasions what was happening in my friendships, relationships and just life in general. Of course she would comfort me and always take my side – that’s what grandmothers do. I appreciated her for that, even though I sometimes had my own opinions about certain things. Gosh… her not being here is really difficult to fathom. I loved how whenever we had a function to attend, she would come and seek my approval on the outfit she was wearing and whether she had the right shoes to match. Hehe  and ever so often she’d borrow one of my bags – one in particular – a cream leatherette one with a silver block buckle. Every time she used it, she’d rush back the evening to tell me all the raving reviews she’d gotten about her bag and some who even wanted it. I thought that was so cute. I miss her terribly for the moments when she acted as my impromptu fashion advisor. I really still need her so much. She was great with clothing. We had many wonderful moments, which I deeply treasure, even the moments of her final hours here. About a year and two months before her passing, she moved to stay with one of my aunts. It was hard to accept, but that was her wishes. My dad then told my brother and I that it was now our duty to visit my grandmother as much as we could, at least every single weekend and I tried at best to adhere to that. Not long after she moved, we discovered she had developed lung cancer and it had infiltrated one entire lung already and was now starting on the other.

It was a sad time – to see how she moved from the physique I grew so fond of, the only one I knew - to one of frailty and meekness. As I sit here, I find it very difficult to relive all those moments, it was heartbreaking. Still is. We celebrated my Mom’s 50th birthday recently, and although no one made mention, I’m sure my grandmother was in everyone’s thoughts. She certainly was in mine. Oh how I wished she could have seen me then. I really didn’t want her to go, I wanted her to wait, to see me get married and maybe even to at least see my first child. But, that is not to be. Allah knows best hey. And, His plans are better than any. I think that’s part of Allah’s reason for letting her move out of our home first. Then I didn’t see her every day as per usual, but every weekend. And I grew accustomed to that. So, when it was time for her to leave, her mayit wouldn’t leave from our home, but my aunt’s… and I wouldn’t have to hurt as much with not seeing her every day as I popped by the kitchen, or visited her room first thing when I come from work, or jump out of my warm bed some times because I forgot to greet her, and needed the comfort to know that I did, just in case.

I was lucky enough to spend my grandmother’s last evening with her and for that I’ll always be thankful to Raafiek because he insisted on taking me that evening. I massaged her back, then her feet as I did every Sunday afternoon… but this time was different… it was to be the last time I massage her feet while she was alive. And, funny enough, in that moment, I knew it was the last time, even her feet felt different, more tender than tender. Before I left, I spent some time with her… we chatted a bit, laughed a bit and then I cried a lot. She told me not to cry, that she was okay and very happy. I greeted. She prompted for Raafiek to greet her as well and my dad and her shared some laughing moments and hugs. He kissed her hands. Myself, Raafiek & my dad left. I stole just a little peak before I left the room… she looked back and smiled. I was at peace. My mom stayed to sleep by her bedside.

I dread the call I received the next day… as early as 10:30 in the morning. It was time. Oh Allah, please grant my grandmother peace, and all her heart’s wishes. She was an amazing woman, so much wisdom, fun and vibrancy resonated from within. I miss her so. Even so that I dreamt about her twice this week… a replay of my engagement to Raafiek, only this time she was there… and as she walked up to me, smiling and oh so healthy, she told me she’s so happy for me, that Raafiek was a wonderful person and that she’s so excited. I didn’t fail to ask how she was doing. She smiled and said, “I’ve never been happier”, and stepped inside to greet the rest of the guests.

Right now, that’s the only comfort I need.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My heart bleeds

The past few days have been tough. I’ve been toying with innumerable assorted thoughts in my mind. But, today I’ve reached the end of my tether. I was honoured to spend my lunch hour with a dear and very close friend of mine. We’ve only seen each other three times this year, quite pathetic with only the hustle and bustle of life to blame, which in my opinion is no excuse at all, but one we both keep on making. She shared something with me today… and my heart bleeds for not having been there for her. I’ve realised, there’s certain things in life one just needs to make the time for… and that’s being there for each other. It’s something we often take for granted, until too late.

This led me to thinking about myself, about the way I handle things and I’ve come to the realisation that within my circle of friends, I have hearts of gold which I treasure and want to protect, always. I sometimes feel like I can do more than I’m capable of doing. There are three very dear women in my life right now who are experiencing some of life’s harshest lessons… and what do I want to do? I want to grab them from their experience, cut them out of this nasty picture and place them somewhere beautiful, painless and unharmful. Do I have the right to do this? Do I have the right to strip them from what life is destined to teach them? Do I have the right to take their pain upon myself? Even if ‘no’ is the answer to all of these questions, I still feel like the mother-hen wanting to protect her little chicks. I seriously do.

Now, I’ve had to endure some of my own pain during my life… and I can certainly say those times I treasure the most as it showed me the beauty of life and taught me what I hold dear today. I know they will achieve the same lessons from their times, but for right now, while they’re hurting… all I want to do is take them away.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Smooches Fashion Show

Saturday was just crazy… I was up as early as 07:30, met my fiancĂ©, Raafiek and we were out and about preparing some things for our future and then we got the final nibbles we were to have later with the models and their partners.

Around 4 everyone arrived… the ladies set out to get dressed and do make-up and hair… while the guys (get this!) prepared supper for us all. We didn’t have anything fancy, just hotdogs, but boy was it delicious! Thanks guys! I had approximately 15 ladies modeling the dresses I either made for them in the past or some of my own supplies. It was quite a rushed afternoon for me and by show time I was exhausted. But, I comforted myself with knowing it was just a few more minutes to go. Anyhoo, it was 15 minutes before stage time, so we rushed the whole entourage to the hall. We got there just in time to brief everyone. Gosh, most of them were so nervous, but I think they did pretty well. It turned out lovely and thank you ladies for all your help! I certainly could never do it without you… and of course, thanks to Steve, who made a wonderful MC for the show.

With everyone looking fabulous, we wanted to go out and party, but I think we were all bushed at that time and settled for chilling at my place. We lazed around for a bit… and later around 11:30pm got some pizza’s. Then we just chilled and chatted. Was some good social time. We watched the video of the fashion show, checked out the pictures and also watched the picture slide of the engagement. It was fun, but by now it was 01:30am… and the sleepy bug was certainly starting to settle in.

Raafiek and I dropped Shahieda and her kids at home… the drive was nice. We were all sitting very cosily, listening to soft relaxing music while driving in the rain. Shahieda, Aqeedah, Uthmaan and Imtiaaz at the back, myself with Ghaalietha strapped in on the front seat, and Raafiek driving. I turned to the back and peaked at my cousin Shahieda, and then… I couldn’t help but wonder…

My wonderment led me to Sunday afternoon… when I finally got a chance to voice and analyse my feelings. Raafiek had prepared us some of Shahieda’s delicious chocolate mousse cake. He laid it out so beautifully and definitely appetisingly! Around the scrumptious mousse cake was a huge dollop of fresh cream. (Hmmm… yummy! My favourite!)… and around the entire plate he laid strawberries with little dollops of cream separating them. I couldn’t wait to indulge myself. And with that, he made some coffee… also with fresh cream. We relaxed and got into speaking… and somehow Shahieda’s name came up again… no doubt it must’ve been with reference to the delicious cake we were munching on!

I started speaking… Shahieda has been very instrumental in my life… and partly so because of her experiences, what life has dished her and how she has beautifully transformed into the amazing woman she is today! One of not only physical beauty, but of spiritual and inner beauty as well. I watch her as she manages her three children, all on her own, with no help from anyone. One has to smile at such strength, dignity and grace. She has come such a long way and has bloomed into such a beautiful flower. She has endured the worst of situations and as I thought about what’s she’s been through, I couldn’t help but shed some tears. By now, Raafiek is highly confused as to why I was suddenly crying. But, he stood by and comforted me and I spoke my heart. And yes, they were tears of sadness for the hurt she had and has to bear, even now sometimes. And, they were also tears of utter amazement! How a women could turn a situation filled with hurt, negativity and ungratefulness into something that now I’m so proud of as she outshines all of those bad memories and lives a life filled with only promise, hope and gratitude!

She has truly enriched my life with her experiences, thoughts and advice. I can’t see my life without her and I thank Allah each and every day for placing someone of her calibre in my path as she serves as a constant reminder to make the most of every situation and to be thankful for what I have. I wish her every success in life and may Allah Almighty ensure that all her biggest dreams and heart’s desires are only a step away! Because, without a doubt, she deserves it!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sex and the City

Ohmigosh! If you haven’t been to see Sex and the City, I suggest you do so… and fast! I thoroughly enjoyed it and was far more than a glitz and glamour parade show. It had an actual storyline, which was very interesting. And, as always, we were thrust into the lives of those four beautiful women – each in their own unique ways: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. It was quite exciting, even heart-wrenching at times, but definitely stunning – ooh and I loved the clothing and shoes.

Well, honestly, I’m not keen on Carrie’s dress style, (at points made me want to puke). I've never been a fan, but Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha’s is pretty classy. I enjoyed seeing how the very little things in life are what really matters… and that sometimes having your heart broken will bring you eternal happiness in the end.

It is the friendship between these four woman that captured me the most. They were always there for each other. Each and every time. And not even their partners could keep them away from each other… for they all knew and were aware of the bond these woman shared. And, quite spectacularly… they supported and nurtured it through all their years! I was truly inspired.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Building relations

I think it’s important to keep building relationships… especially the very important ones. I worked from home today… and gladly so, it was storming outside. So, I cuddled back into bed, nice and snug with my bedside lamp on, I proofread the copy for our upcoming Top500 publication. Much later the afternoon, I made my parents coffee and then my Mom and I sat side by side nibbling on toast with jam and cheese. Was lovely spending some time with her, I haven’t in a while, needless to say I haven’t had much time for myself either with everything going on lately. It was such a memorable moment, we just chatted about stuff, all the changes we need to adapt to concerning my crazy work life and fulfilling my dreams. I told her I’d soon be meeting up with old friends for our Matric ’98 reunion on 2 August 2008. I’m looking forward to it. Seems my Mom is too, she got all excited and asked if I was gonna make myself something to dazzle on the evening. I said I was thinking about it. In an instant, my Mom whipped out some magazines from which to gain inspiration for a gown. I enjoyed spending that time with her and within it I realise that whatever may happen, she’ll always be my dear Mommy whom I love very much. And, even if I can’t seem to find the time for myself, I should always try to find the time for my Mommy, Daddy and my nearest and dearest!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Looking back

As I awoke today… out of the blue, I could only remember one thing. What this day had meant to me two years ago! 2 July 2006 was a hard and hurtful day for me yet one of complete liberation too. I had just celebrated my Quarter Century Birthday with my friend, Nadia, the day before.

My friend Abbas decided to join me as we dropped the last party props. Thereafter, we proceeded to have coffee at Mugg&Bean and a little catch-up. We didn’t have one in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was easy for the two of us to chat about things that hurt. We analysed a very weird dream I had a few days before and that to me was the most striking of it all.

After an enjoyable time, feeling centered and peaceful, I ventured on home only to be confronted with an ex-boyfriend who wanted nothing else but for me to take responsibility for the course he chose in life. I must say, it was the hardest thing to do that day, but I knew deep down, it was my only chance. I had to let go and stand up for myself. That was the deciding moment in my life. To take responsibility for my decisions and to deal with the consequences which my come. Looking back, all the hurt and pain endured is worthwhile. Worthwhile because right now, my life is exactly where I want it to be. I’ve endured the necessary and am now experiencing its beauty. Algamdulilah! I could never be where I am today without the mercy of Allah Almighty who stood by and guided me when I needed it most!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Shucks! I’ve got so much to do! I need some perspective here… wait I have the perspective, just not the time. I need to manage my time more effectively.

My dreams are set in motion, and now I have to make it happen! I’ve always lived by that adage… well at least for the past 2 – 3 years… "Make it happen" and like my Mom always tells me: "Just Do It!" And, I indeed plan to. I’ve got a vision in mind and a mission in life and armed with all the support I have, I’m tackling the obstacles, even my lack of time to make true what I believe to be the epitome of my existence. I will fight to make a reality the goals I have deep inside. As hard as it may be, I pray my determination will see me through. That the mental images I have will not only be confined to my cortex but will live true in pure existence to be enjoyed and relished by life.

This will be my reality.

My whirlwind of joy

Shoo! Things have been such a whirlwind lately! From finishing off my best friend’s morning wedding dress plus 4 bridesmaids dresses, then planning my engagement to Raafiek and designing and making my dress, to planning my Mom’s 50th Birthday Celebration Party, and now a fashion show for my Smooches clothing label!

I need a breather! But, I’m not complaining… I'm using what’s been given to me and that in itself is my blessing! It’s been a hectic year thus far, but I need to give it my all. I read something today… nothing should be undertaken unless excellence can be achieved. And, that is my exact intention. To bring about excellence. I know designing and making clothing is not seen as a major contribution to the economy or offsetting any major environmental preservation programme, but I see it differently. From a more inanimate perspective. A more spiritual one. I see it as the opportunity to build something, to contribute to someone’s nature and to allow someone to express themselves more effectively. Hence I’ve been inspired by an old Creed song which meant much to me at a very poignant moment in my life. give life . give love . give soul is exactly how I see my clothing line and the contribution it makes to the wearer. My making something for someone is to give life to something which never existed before… give love is what the wearer needs to first give to themselves and then to others… and give soul is what each wearer should exude to life. We should be proud to be alive, to be able to experience its beauty and to be able to use our five senses… something which most people take for granted.

I want people to stand up… to live life to the fullest… to make the most of each day… and to forever say what they feel deep down inside. I want us to express gratitude for what we have and to each day realise just how lucky we are to have yet another day to experience beauty beyond any measure… the beauty of a Most Powerful Creator! I give thanks and grace to Allah for allowing me such an honour!